Andrew Trembley (bovil) wrote in gbacg_costume,
Andrew Trembley
bovil
gbacg_costume

CC26 Hotel Stuff...

After talking with Heather and Aaron at the lovely GBACG salon hosted by Lisa and Chris...

I realized should go into a bit more depth as to why people should get a hotel room for Costume-Con 26 even though it's right here, and (if you've got the available budget) why it's worth checking in on Thursday night and checking out Tuesday.

So the basics: We live about 7 miles from the Doubletree. We regularly attend conventions there, including BayCon, SiliCon and Further Confusion. In spite of being so close, we always get a hotel room.

* Why get a room, when we're barely a 15 minute drive from home?

Even if we're not wearing costumes a lot at a convention, we still regularly change clothes at least between day-wear and eveningwear. If it's a costume-heavy event, we may change clothes two or three times daily. Having a room means having a closet and changing space. Keeping a duffle in your car and changing in a friend's room (or a hotel bathroom) just isn't as convenient, for you or your friends.

Having access to your own shower is a real benefit. Having access to a vanity and plenty of mirror space is also really nice. If you're doing complicated make-up or hair, they're vital.

While there is planned workspace and social space, sometimes you just need to get away from the crowds, and if you don't have a room that's difficult.

If you're planning to party, being able to catch an elevator back to your room (rather than driving home) is worth the expense.

* Why check in Thursday, though? The con doesn't start until Friday, right?

Well, that's true. There's the ICG meeting on Friday morning, if you care (and you probably don't). Dealers room is scheduled to open at noon, and may open earlier if all the dealers are ready. Programming starts at 1:00. All that is before the regular 3:00pm check-in time at the hotel. While you may be able to check in earlier than that, it's more likely you're going to have to check your bags with the bell stand or leave them in your car until your room is available. If you get the room Thursday night, you're already in, and can spend time with your friends on Friday without the pressure of move-in.

If you're bringing a lot of stuff, it's really worth it. You can check in on Thursday evening with your first car-load, and do a quick run on Friday morning (while the ICG meeting is happening) to pick up your second. Again, it reduces the move-in pressure and gives you more time to just hang out with your friends.

Finally, most of the convention committee and a lot of the out-of-towners will already be there on Thursday. Early hospitality and pre-registration pick-up will be open on Thursday night. It's a great time to meet the convention staff before things get crazy. It's a great time to spend a little extra time with your friends before the program and events start pulling you in different directions.

If you've got the (roughly) $100 available in your budget, it's money well-spent.

* Why check out Tuesday, if the con is already over Monday evening?

The convention program is scheduled to 5:00pm (I think) Monday. The hotel's check-out time is noon. While it may be possible to get a late check-out, it's not going to be that late, and you're going to lose a bunch of the morning to packing up. You'll also have to stash your bags in your car or check them at the bell desk.

If you bring a lot of stuff, you can use a little time on Monday hauling carloads home, and load up your last things on Tuesday morning before going to work. There's a lot less time pressure this way.

There's also the traditional "dead dog" party in hospitality on Monday night. Many of the folks who have spent the weekend doing a lot of work (or entering a lot of competitions) finally have a chance to relax at this point. It's a last chance to hang out with the people from out-of-town before they go home and you don't see them again for months. Regular convention attendees and staffers will often tell you that, no matter how good the rest of the convention may be, this is the best part.

If you've got the (roughly) $100 available in your budget, it's money well-spent.

* Why should I deal with this soon?

Costume-Con 26's hotel contract only guarantees room availability at our rates until April 3. After that, the remaining rooms in the convention's hotel block are "released." While it may be possible to get the convention rate after April 3, it may not be as easy.

* What should I do if the hotel doesn't want to give me the convention rate?

If it's online (particularly if you're attempting to update your reservation), try calling the hotel directly at (408) 453-4000. The hotel's reservation agents often can do things that the online system can't handle.

If they can't get you our rate, take the reservation at the rate you're given by the hotel. Then email hotel@cc26.org with your name, dates and confirmation number. Our hotel liaison will work with the hotel to get your rate fixed. That's one of the things he's here for.
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